Sports in Buffalo

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Inside of Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills
Inside Coca-Cola Field, home to the Buffalo Bisons
Division I football played in UB

Buffalo, New York and Western New York are home to 2 major league sports teams. The Buffalo Sabres (hockey) play in the City of Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills (football) play in the suburb of Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo is also home to several minor sports teams including the Buffalo Bisons (baseball), Buffalo Bandits (indoor lacrosse) and FC Buffalo (soccer). Several Buffalo-area colleges and universities are active in college athletics.

Sports are a major part of the city's culture. In recent decades Buffalo based teams have become known for crushing, and sometimes controversial, defeats. "Wide Right", "No Goal" and the Music City Miracle have come to define the suffering of Buffalo Sports fans. In February 2012 Forbes listed Buffalo #4 on its list of "Most Miserable Sports Cities."[1]

Buffalo has received franchises in three major sports leagues, starting with the Buffalo Bills who began play in the inaugural 1960 American Football League season and eventually joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger. That same year, the Buffalo Braves joined the National Basketball Association, and the Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League as expansion franchises. However, the Braves struggled financially and were relocated in 1978 to San Diego and became the Clippers, and moved again in 1984 to their current home, Los Angeles. That caused a perception that Western New York cannot economically support three major sports franchises. The Bills' decision to play one home game a year in nearby Toronto in 2008 in order to expand revenue has bolstered that perception further. Buffalo last hosted Major League Baseball in 1915 with the Federal League's Buffalo Blues. Currently the highest level of professional baseball in the greater Buffalo region is the Buffalo Bisons, a AAA International League franchise.[citation needed]

Current teams[edit]

Sport League Club Founded Venue League championships Championship years
Football NFL Buffalo Bills 1960 Ralph Wilson Stadium 2* 1964,1965*
Hockey NHL Buffalo Sabres 1970 First Niagara Center 0
Baseball IL Buffalo Bisons 1979† Coca-Cola Field 3 1997, 1998, 2004
Lacrosse NLL Buffalo Bandits 1992 First Niagara Center 4 1992, 1993, 1996, 2008
Soccer NPSL FC Buffalo 2009 Demske Sports Complex 0
Basketball PBL Buffalo 716ers 2012 Tapestry Charter School 0

* Championships listed are American Football League championships, not NFL championships. † Date refers to current incarnation; Buffalo Bisons previously operated from the 1870s until 1970 and the current Bisons count this team as part of their history.

Former teams[edit]

Collegiate Athletics[edit]

School Team League Division Primary Conference Other Conference(s)
University at Buffalo Buffalo Bulls NCAA I (FBS) MAC CAA
Canisius College Canisius Golden Griffins NCAA I MAAC AHA
Buffalo State College Buffalo State Bengals NCAA III SUNYAC E8
Erie Community College Erie Community College Kats NJCAA WNYAC NEFC

The University at Buffalo, Canisius College, Buffalo State College and Erie Community College all operate collegiate athletics programs.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Van Riper, Tom. "America's Most Miserable Sports Cities". Forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 10 April 2013.